Though the main proponent of the federal government's cloud-first policy, chief information officer Vivek Kundra, is set to leave office in August, government agencies are still working diligently to enact the mandate, which calls for the cloud to take precedence for federal IT projects.
However, according to a recent Computerworld report, widespread shift to cloud computing solutions is not something that will happen overnight for federal organizations. Technology administrators around the country are running into several roadblocks while trying to get in line with the Obama administration's vision for federal IT.
Not the least of such problems is cloud security. As is the case with many private-sector companies, federal agencies are concerned about the level of protection afforded to data once it is hosted online.
"Concerns about security, funding and [return on investment], as well as political opposition, could impact what moves to the cloud and when it goes there," Mary Pratt recently wrote for Computerworld.
At the least, government agencies store confidential information on American citizens. But, in some cases, agencies have in their possession data that are of the utmost importance to national security and efforts of the nation abroad. In both cases, government agencies want to ensure that the proper data security measures are in place.
While it's unlikely that any national secrets will be heading toward a cloud-based solution any time soon, the issue of security remains a top concern for many officials. In fact, according to a recent report from MeriTalk cited by Computerworld, 71 percent of government CIOs cited cloud security as their top concern. Only budget constraints, highlighted by 79 percent of respondents, were of greater concern.
Another recent report from MeriTalk, the government's IT network, revealed that many organizations aren't tracking data center consolidation. Only 23 percent of respondents said they can tally such savings.